Honourable Senator, Eng.Godana Hargura
Honourable National Assembly Members
Honourable Speaker, Marsabit County Assembly
All Honourable members of the County Assembly
Fellow education stakeholders
Parents and Teachers
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I’m profoundly honored to join you once again for the Second Edition of Marsabit County Education Stakeholders’ Forum whose overall theme is, “Quality Education for Cohesion and sustainable Development.’’
I am delighted and grateful for your participation as I believe your views will go a long way in enabling our county find educational roadmap for our young generation through revival of performance and reclaiming of the county’s lost glory. As I welcome you all to this important forum, I look forward to enriching engagement from everyone and especially professionals from both the education and other sectors. I thank the CEC for Education, Hon. Alio Ibrahim and his team, the County Director of Education, the Principal Moi Girls and all partners for their effort and contribution towards the success of this forum.
Education is the cornerstone for any nation or community aspiring to build peace and sustain a knowledge economy, where achievements in health advances, agricultural innovations to efficient public administration, private sector growth and respect for each other’s values are made possible”. It’s also arguably considered the engine of social-economic, political, technological and cultural development of any society.
It’s in realization of the importance of this sector that my Government convened this forum once again with the desire of rallying all to address ourselves to the numerous challenges we observed at the first conference that included low and declining enrolment of pupils in primary and secondary schools, low pupil/teacher ratio, poor transition at all levels, poor infrastructure including learning materials, poor examination performance, general indiscipline, retrogressive cultural practices like FGM and early marriages among many other ills affecting the sector in this county.
Ladies and gentlemen,
During the inaugural education forum last year, we came up with a raft of recommendations to cure the myriads problems affecting the sector. It’s against this background that this conference is convened to review progress of implementations and I therefore hope that the participants will not only carry out audit of the resolutions but also come up with pragmatic measures of fast-tracking the implementations so that our children can access quality education and effectively compete with others in the country.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Since the first conference, notwithstanding the enormity of the challenges, I am happy to report that my Government in collaboration with the stakeholders and partners in the education sector have realized certain positive results including;
- Construction of 90 ECD classrooms that are fully furnished across every wards of this county, significantly improving access and learning environment for the young ones;
- Marked improvement of examination results due to regular quality assurance and standard assessment that were supported by the county government. The state department of Education conducted assessment of all secondary schools and some primary schools through the county facilitation.
- Recruitment of 125 ECD new instructors, 10 sub-county ECD officers and further sponsored 105 ECDE instructors to join various teacher training courses to better their skills.
- Enactment of a scholarship fund that is intended to support bright but poor students to pursue specialized courses like teaching, medicine, technical courses among others where the county has serious skill gaps at the moment.
- Infrastructural developments in various youth polytechnics including new workshops, classrooms, administration blocks and equipping them with modern tools and equipment. The county also recruited well trained instructors to offer both theoretical and practical instructions to the trainees.
- Refurbishment of several stadia to develop talents of our youth still in educational institutions including the ultra-modern stadium at Marsabit which when complete will provide ample sporting opportunity to our children
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Going forward, as diverse stakeholders gathered here today, we need to remain committed so as to effectively play our individual and collective roles in order to turn around the education sector which is slowly showing signs of recovery since last year.
It should not be lost that there’s urgent and compelling need for cooperation between the state department of education, county government and other partners to urgently address the quality of the teaching workforce in our schools through provision of in-service training for teachers. It’s also desirable to conduct periodic joint evaluation tests for our schools with a view to enhancing performance and competition. The need to employ more teachers to bridge the yawning gap of teachers in the county should be taken seriously while equipping of educational facilities and support to curriculum supervision in schools remains paramount.
Lastly, education sector cannot be addressed in isolation of other sectors; since no meaningful development can be realized without safe and socially stable environment as peace and development are mutually reinforcing. In this regard since peace is critical to uninterrupted learning and teaching programs, I appeal to all leaders and residents to uphold and safeguard it at all times.
As I conclude Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s my sincere hope that this forum will not only yield additional innovative strategies to turnaround the sector but further sustain and strengthen the benefit for the current and future generations. I have no doubt that this and future gathering to address the ailing education sector will continue to prick our conscience as stakeholders who have over the years abandoned our responsibilities with shame. I believe also that we shall open our eyes and find the much needed moral compass to rediscover ourselves and play our role with full dedication. I wish you fruitful deliberations.
Thank you. God bless you and may He forever bless Marsabit County!